If you've missed what I've been writing on forgiveness already you may want to start with the previous posts. I'll be posting on this topic for a while still. There is a lot of good stuff to learn about it.
Why Do We Forgive
What Does Forgiveness Say
Forgive Us As We Forgive Others
Examples of Forgiveness
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
While they were mocking and murdering him, Jesus forgave. In the midst of the wrong being done. He didn’t even wait until they were done hurting him. He didn’t wait for an apology. He waited for nothing and turned to his Father and asked Him to forgive the offenders.
He didn’t shout out to his offenders “Hey you! Yeah. You. I’m forgiving you!”
In that moment it was between Jesus and God.
That is our example of what forgiveness looks like. Unconditional and free. Immediate.
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Again, Stephen did not wait for them to offer up an apology. He didn’t wait until he “felt” like he was ready to forgive. He didn’t tell them he was forgiving them. He just forgave. “While they were stoning him.”
He followed Jesus example.
70 times 7
Matthew 18:21-22 (The Message)
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy time seven.”
Forgive every time. If the same person continues to hurt you, continue to forgive.
From these examples I learn to forgive immediately and to forgive every time. Forgive with or without an apology. Forgive without conditions.